An audit of a British sample of death certificates in which anorexia nervosa is listed as a cause of death
Version of Record online: 11 OCT 2004
Copyright © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 36, Issue 3, pages 356–360, November 2004
How to Cite
Muir, A. and Palmer, R. L. (2004), An audit of a British sample of death certificates in which anorexia nervosa is listed as a cause of death. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 36: 356–360. doi: 10.1002/eat.20055
- Issue online: 11 OCT 2004
- Version of Record online: 11 OCT 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 FEB 2004
- British sample;
- death certificates;
- anorexia nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is associated with an increased mortality rate. National mortality statistics based on statutory death certification are potentially an important source of information. However, there are reasons to believe that these statistics may be subject to significant errors. An audit of the quality of information and diagnosis was conducted on death certificates in which anorexia nervosa was mentioned.
The current study examined data from death certificates of people who died in England and Wales between 1993 and 1999.
There were 230 such deaths, but only 128—just over one half—were rated as likely to be deaths associated with true anorexia nervosa.
National mortality statistics derived from death certificates are a flawed source of information on deaths from anorexia nervosa when taken at face value. There may be both underreporting and overreporting. Detailed examination may improve their usefulness by reducing the overerreporting. It seems likely that the association of deaths with anorexia nervosa is systematically underreported. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 36: 356–360, 2004.